No. 10 Penn State Ousts the Gauchos, 3-1
March 11, 2011
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The No. 10 Penn State men's volleyball team (15-4) defeated No. 5 UCSB, 3-1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22) in the first match of the Active Ankle Tournament hosted by Long Beach State.
Sophomore Tom Comfort (Orchard Park, N.Y.) led the team with 18 kills, while redshirt junior Joe Sunder (Greensburg, Pa.) was second on the squad with 17 kills. Freshman Jace Olsen (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) finished the match with 10 kills. Redshirt junior Edgardo Goas (San Juan, Puerto Rico) dished out 49 assists to pace the Nittany Lion offense. Sunder led the Lions on defense with eight digs, while Comfort had a team-best four blocks.
Penn State hit .449 for the match, while UCSB registered a .454 attack percentage. The Nittany Lions totaled 59 kills, four aces, 25 digs and 6.0 total team blocks. The Gauchos finished the match with 54 kills, three aces, 30 digs and 6.5 team blocks.
The Gauchos opened the match with a 4-1 lead, an advantage they would maintain for the entirety of the set. Despite developing a seven-point lead, 14-7, a 4-0 run by the Lions had Penn State within three, 14-11. UCSB called a timeout and managed a 3-0 run to increase the gap to six, 17-11. Penn State fought to within four, 20-16, after to Santa Barbara errors and two Comfort kills. The Gauchos allowed Penn State just one additional point, a UCSB service error, while closing out the set with a 5-1 run for a 25-17 win.
The Nittany Lions grabbed the early advantage in set two taking a 4-1 lead with two kills by Olsen and one from Comfort. The Gauchos came within two, 5-3, but a 5-0 run had UCSB taking a timeout as Penn State's lead grew to seven, 10-3. Penn State lead grew to eight, 15-7, thanks in part to three kills from Comfort. The Lions continued to dominate the set, never letting the Gauchos closer than six. Penn State had a 24-16 advantage after two kills by Sunder, as well as one kill and once ace from Olsen. However, UCSB gave the Lions a run for their money with a 3-0 run to cut the gap to six, 24-18. Sophomore Ian Hendries (Cardiff, Calif.) closed out set two for PSU with a kill, 25-19.
The third stanza started out close, but Penn State had a three-point edge, 8-5, after a UCSB service error and kills from Comfort and Olsen. Penn State maintained a slim lead until UCSB tied it up midway through the frame at 13-13. The score tied four more times before a PSU block and a kill form sophomore Nick Turko (Lewisberry, Pa.) had PSU up by two, 19-17. Penn State held onto the lead thanks to three service errors by the Gauchos. With a 24-21 lead, two straight points by Santa Barbara had the Gauchos within one, 24-23. Comfort pounded a kill to close out set three for PSU, 25-23.
Penn state grabbed a 5-3 lead in set four thanks to kills from Olsen, Comfort and Turko. Two PSU errors and a UCSB kill knotted the score at 6-6 before a Gaucho ace and kill had Santa Barbara in the lead, 8-6. A Gaucho error and a solo stuff by Sunder tied it up at 8-8, but the Nittany Lions weren't able to jump back in front until midway through the frame when a 3-1 run had PSU up, 13-12. UCSB put down a kill to tie it once more at 13-13, but a Turko kill and a UCSB error had the Lions leading by two, 15-13. The Nittany Lions managed to maintain momentum. Despite the Gauchos fighting to within one, 19-18, kills from Comfort and Olsen kept Penn State out of danger. Penn State closed out the fourth set winning 25-22.
For more information on the Penn State men's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State men's volleyball 2011 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey.